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The aims of this study were to investigate the eruption pattern of maxillary permanent canines in the alveolar cleft area after secondary alveolar bone grafting and to assess the risk indicators for canine impaction.The sample consisted of 75 patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate who underwent secondary alveolar bone grafting with rhBMP-2 with a mean age of 9.8 years of age at 1 center. A split-mouth study design was used, with the noncleft hemiarch comprising the control group. Panoramic radiographs taken before, immediately after, and 1 year after secondary alveolar bone grafting were used to assess the following parameters in both cleft side (CS) and noncleft side: canine mesiodistal angulation, canine height relative to the occlusal plane, canine mesial displacement, and superimposition with the neighboring maxillary incisors. The frequency of associated dental anomalies was compared between patients with and without CS canine impaction. Data were evaluated using analysis of variance, t tests, Fisher tests, and multiple logistic regression analysis (P <0.05).On the CS, maxillary canines were usually more mesially angulated and more distant from the occlusal plane compared with the noncleft side. The prevalences of canine impaction on the CS and noncleft side were 24% and 1.3%, respectively. Maxillary impacted canines on the CS demonstrated increased mesiodistal angulation and height at all time points. No association between CS canine impaction and mesial displacement (sectors) was found. An increased prevalence of lateral incisor agenesis on the CS was observed in the subgroup with canine impaction.Increased mesial angulation and lateral incisor agenesis on the CS are early risk indicators for maxillary canine impaction in patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate.